Recipe: Good Morning Blueberry Muffins

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This is another great recipe from Elise Museles book Whole Food Energy.  I will say that if you are not used to eating primarily whole foods, you and/or your children are used to more processed foods in your diet (especially gluten), and your diet has not been rich in fruits and vegetables then it will take time to get used to these recipes.  You have to give your body time to get rid of toxins.  I am not a medical doctor; I only speak from my personal experience.  Once you are eating primarily whole foods they will start to taste like nothing you remember.  Everything is so fresh and delicious, and you become satisfied with much more basic, simple food choices and combinations.  I believe that things like smoothies and muffins are essential because they allow you to cram lots of stuff into one drink or muffin.  Smoothies only requires throwing all the ingredients into the blender. They are also easy to take and drink on the go, which is a must for busy families!  Muffins are perfect for breakfast or snack.  They can be made in large batches and individually frozen for later.  Get your children involved in picking out recipes and making the food. You might be pleasantly surprised at what they are willing to try when they help make it. Again, I am only offering my own personal experiences.  Take from it what you want and leave the rest!!  Happy Baking!

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Good Morning Blueberry Muffins (from Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • 1 Cup Almond Flour
  • 3/4 Cup quinoa flour *
  • 3/4 Cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 Cup honey **
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 Cup applesauce
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Cup blueberries, frozen

*  I used chickpea flour because I didn’t have any quinoa flour

**  I didn’t have enough honey so I used a mixture of honey and maple syrup

I also added a little fresh lemon juice because I thought it would complement the blueberries well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and oil 12-muffin pan with coconut oil or spray.  Mix flax seed and warm water together, whisk and let stand to thicken (this is a flax egg!).  In medium bowl, mix 3 flours, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.  In large bowl, mix honey, coconut oil, the flax egg, applesauce, almond milk and apple cider vinegar.  Pour in the dry ingredients and mix.  Fold in the blueberries.  I used almost 2 cups of blueberries because I love the extra fruit in the muffins.  Do not overmix batter.  Fill the 12 muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes.

These delicious muffins are gluten-free and dairy free.  They freeze well and make a wonderfully filling snack or meal.  Enjoy!

Recipe: Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie

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OK, this smoothie was DELICIOUS……seriously delicious!  Filled with just the perfect amount of ginger, it was such a refreshing, filling drink!  Shown is one serving, so there is enough to share.  I was barely able to finish one glass!

This is another recipe from the book, Whole Food Energy.  So far, it has not disappointed!

Velvety Chocolate Pumpkin Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbsp. raw cacao powder
  • 2 bananas (sliced and frozen) **I used bananas from my counter and added crushed ice to the smoothie
  • 1/2 inch peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 2 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 tbsp. raw almond butter
  • pinch of sea salt

Blend all ingredients in a Vitamix or other high powered blender and enjoy!

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Recipe: Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

This is the first of several new recipes I will have to share with you this week.  I received a cookbook recently as a gift, and it has really motivated me to go back to eating more raw foods and gluten-free options.  I spent the morning preparing to go to Whole Foods to shop for the week.  It is the only affordable option around me that has everything I need.  I am a one-stop shop kind of gal.  Everything I have tried thus far today from the new cookbook has been fantastic.  Keep in mind that if you are not used to eating a lot of raw foods or baking gluten-free, then these things will be very different for you, both to make and to eat.  Keep an open mind and remind yourself that you are what you eat!  That in itself is motivation enough for me to stay on the right track!

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The cookbook is Whole Food Energy by Elise Museles (pictured above with one of my favorite cookbook authors, Robin Robertson).  This is the first recipe from it that I tried.  2 of my 4 kids loved it, but the other 2 did not.  I think it is because it has a pretty strong coconut flavor, and some of my kids are not a fan of strong coconut.

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For the record, I thought these were absolutely fantastic, so rich and moist.  You really could only eat one or two, and that is saying a lot for this gal with a huge sweet tooth!  It is the perfect kind of treat that is filling and satisfying.  They are also gluten-free, vegan and raw with no added sugar!

Go Nuts Raw Cookie Dough

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup pecans
  • 1/2 Cup walnuts
  • 1 Cup cashews
  • 1/4 Cup goji berries
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp. cacao nibs

Place the first 3 ingredients in a food processor (I used my Vitamix!) and process until the nuts are in small pieces but not powder.  Add remaining ingredients and process until everything mixes together, and you have a dough-like consistency.  Roll** into small balls and freeze for 30 minutes prior to eating.  Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

**dough feels oily in your hands

Fall in Love with Healthy!

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I feel that one of the most important messages you can send your children is to love feeling good and being healthy.  For me, this translates to feeding them healthy, home cooked whole food meals (MOST of the time; I am not shooting for perfect!).  We have very little processed foods in our home, no candy, chips, sodas, juice, sugar snacks, etc.  We have very little cereals (other than granola).  These things do make an appearance (except for the soda, never soda), but it is on a very limited basis. Most of the junk my kids eat is done out of my home.  Your children will eat what you eat, and what you provide for them.

If cooking from scratch every day feels overwhelming or unrealistic given your schedule, then I would encourage you to start with one day of the week to dedicate to cooking and eating whole foods with your family.  Breakfast is a very important meal, and one that is often overlooked or not given the attention it deserves given most families busy mornings.  One thing I do to ensure that my children eat a healthy nourishing breakfast before heading off to school is to make a huge batch of pancakes, waffles or muffins on Sunday. Freeze them in small portions, and then throughout the week you can just pull a muffin out of the freezer and defrost it, or pull a pancake/waffle out of the freezer and heat it in the toaster. Pair it with some fruit, and you have an awesome whole food breakfast that will start their day off right.

You can find the recipe I use for pancakes here.  It is really simple, and there is no excuse to not have made from scratch pancakes from now on!  Need some other ideas for a healthy, nourishing breakfast for your kids before school?  Try some of the ideas below:

  • yogurt with fruit, nut butter & granola
  • whole wheat muffins like the ones here
  • oatmeal with fruit, honey and granola
  • apple slices or banana with nut butter
  • whole wheat waffles like these (leave out the blueberries if you want)
  • overnight oats

Enjoy your day, and remember, fill your body and your kid’s bodies every day with LOVE!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Vegan.  Gluten-free.  Raw.  All the kids loved them.  An all-around win-win!

I have been through a lull with cooking.  Buying a house and moving at the start of summer with 4 children under the age of 10 can cause you to lose you mind drink a lot lose a little inspiration in the kitchen.  The kids have been eating a lot of protein bars, and I (and my wallet) am ready for a break from them.  Quick easily digestible snacks are a great way to prepare for a swim team practice or fuel up in the car.  I scoured the internet for a new recipe that fit the bill of few whole food ingredients, quick and easy.  I found and slightly modified this recipe which met all of these requirements.  They were really delicious, but I honestly think we would have eaten them regardless because they contained chocolate chips.  A very small amount of chocolate chips, by the way 😉  After trying them, my kids said in unison, “Mom, they taste like chocolate chip cookie dough!”.  I guess the recipe title is fitting.  Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 Cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 Cup. vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/4 Cup peanut butter

Place cashews, oats, salt and cinnamon in the Vitamix and blend into a powder.  Transfer to a bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Mix, roll into balls and enjoy.  It’s that simple!

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Super Simple Snack Series: Applesauce

Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

Organic Unsweetened Applesauce

This is a great snack, especially with the addition of a little cinnamon.  Apples are so sweet; I can’t imagine the need to have sweetened applesauce.  It may take your taste buds some time to get used to if you currently have a lot of sugar in your diet, but unsweetened applesauce is the way to go.  This is especially important for your children.  Add some chopped fruit or cinnamon to jazz it up a bit if necessary.  Or throw it in their lunch as is!

Whole Food After School Snack

Whole Food After School Snack

Whole Food After School Snack

This is a typical after school for my oldest (9 years old) competitive swimmer.  It’s more of a meal really, his first dinner I like to call it!  But most days he goes to the pool right after school and doesn’t get home to eat dinner until close to 8 pm.  Your after school snack might look a little different.  I have definitely found that my kids are starving after their school day, and a nutritious healthy snack does wonders for their attitudes and demeanor for the remainder of the evening.  This snack included:

  • 2 whole wheat corn/wild rice/black bean/cheese quesadillas
  • cashew cookie Larabar
  • homemade cheddar cheese crackers
  • 2 tangerines
  • bag of grapes
  • vanilla soy yogurt with strawberries and cinnamon